My Kitchen My Way – Turkey Bolognese

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You cringe when you fall upon a recipe that requires a pot, tool or machine you don’t have.

I had dropped many hints for my husband to buy me a food processor and one Christmas my kitchen dreams became reality. The ironic thing is since he’s bought it for me I’ve only used it a handful of times.

One dish I’ve never made before, funny enough growing up with an Italian father in the kitchen is pasta Bolognese. Now I’m not sure what they did in the past when food processors didn’t exist but as long as I can recall my dad always minced his veggies in some type of machine.

Here was my opportunity to bring out my food processor!

The batch I made uses ground turkey instead of beef and we hold the onions here.

This sauce is flavorful, textural and quintessential Italian.

Turkey Bolognese – Make allot – Eat some and freeze some for a rainy day!

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*Special Equipment*

Food Processor

*Ingredients*

Ground Turkey Meat

1 Can Crushed Tomatoes

1 Can Tomato Paste

(3) Raw Carrots Stems – Chopped

(2) Raw Celery Stems – Chopped

(3) Garlic Cloves – Peeled

A Handful Leaves of Basil – Chopped

2 Dried Bay Leaves

Dried Oregano – Sprinkle

Hot Pepper Flakes – Sprinkle

1 Cup Red Wine

1pd Dry Pasta

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In the food processor – finely mince the carrots, celery and garlic. You can also add in a shallot or any type of onion, but again we prefer no onions.

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Once processed set the mixture aside.

Heat one tablespoon of EVOO in a large sauce pan, brown the turkey meat.

Once  the meat is almost cooked add the processed vegetables to the pan and add the bay leaves, continue to cook through while mixing.

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Next add the can of crushed tomatoes, the tomato paste, the cup of wine, the oregano and hot pepper flakes combine all.

Drizzle one tablespoon of EVOO, throw in the basil and stir.

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Cover the pan and simmer the sauce on medium to low heat and let cook for about half a hour.

Once half and hour or so passes – start to boil the water for the pasta.

You can keep the sauce on very low or turn off and cover to keep warm.

Boil your favorite type of dry pasta– once cooked drain the pasta.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce pan.

Plate the dish, top with grated parmesan and enjoy!

© Cookery for Two – 2015 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Recipe Real Life – Pork Cutlet Sandwiches

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We love Parmesan sandwiches but sometimes they can be overkill with too much sauce and cheese. This version is a bit toned down and I used pork instead of chicken.  The lemon dressed arugula adds another level of texture and flavor to the sandwich and ties everything together for a fresh take on the classic Parmesan sandwich – This is a Recipe Real Life re-do!

*** Makes 2 Sandwiches ***

(Ingredients for Cutlets)

(2) Pork Cutlets / Italian Breadcrumbs / Grated Parmesan / 2 Eggs / Flour / Salt / Black Pepper / Garlic Powder / Frying Oil

(Ingredients for Building Sandwich)

(2) Portuguese Rolls / Marinara Sauce / Arugula / Fresh Mozzarella Ball / Garlic Powder / Olive Oil / Lemon / Grated Parmesan / Butter

To Note: I used some defrosted sauce I already had stored in the freezer. The sauce needed for the sandwiches is so minimal that I’d suggest using leftover sauce from another night of cooking or your favorite jarred store bought sauce.

1st Breading your Cutlets

  • Prep your space with three containers – one holding the flour, another holding the eggs and the last holding the breadcrumbs.

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To Note: I like to season the scrambled eggs with pepper and the breadcrumbs with garlic powder and grated Parmesan.

  • Trim the cutlets of any fat and pound them out under plastic wrap to get them nice and thin. You can use a mallet or even a rolling pin to do so.
  • Season the cutlets with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

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  • Dredge each cutlet into the flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs and set aside until all the cutlets are done.
  • In a frying pan set up the frying oil – set on medium heat.
  • While the oil is heating up prep the arugula leaves and mozzarella slices.
  • Slice the mozzarella into ¼” slices and place in fridge.
  • In a separate bowl take six cups of arugula leaves and toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Place in fridge.

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  • Fry up each cutlet till a nice deep brown crust is formed. Periodically flipping them so they get an even fry.

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2nd Put Together the Bread & Sauce

  • Slices open the rolls.
  • In a microwave safe container melt 1 Tablespoon of butter.
  • Once melted combine with 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, 2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder, 2 Teaspoons of Grated Parmesan and 1 Teaspoon of Oregano.
  • Spread the mixture on each of the four pieces of bread.
  • Place in oven to toast.
  • While bread is toasting warm up the sauce in a sauce pan. Season or drizzle some EVOO if needed into the sauce.
  • Once bread is toasted it’s time to put the sandwich together.

3rd Putting Together the Sandwich

  • Take the bottom slice of the roll and place on a plate.

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  • Place a bunch of the arugula leaves on the slice.

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  • Then place a cutlet onto the arugula.

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  • Next spoon about two tablespoons of sauce onto the cutlet.

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  • Then place two slices of the mozzarella and close the sandwich with the top portion of the roll.

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  • Cut in half and serve on a plate with a portion of the arugula leaves.
  • You can also pair the sandwiches with some grilled veggies or a tomato and balsamic salad.

Enjoy!

© Cookery for Two – 2015 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sausage Soup

Cookery for Two is feeling a bit under the weather and as the temperature cool’s down a new pot of soup was the craving last night. Browned sausage crumbles thrown into a chicken stock and tomato broth; add in escarole, cannellini beans and dainty pastina pasta. The melding of textures and flavors left my body warm and relaxed to enjoy the evening and then off to bed early because besides soup nothing beats a cold more than sleep!

Ingredients:

Seasonings: Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

½ Cup of Red Wine

One Bunch Escarole

½ of One Small Shallot

2 Garlic Cloves

½ a Cup of Pastina Pasta

Two Boxes of Low Sodium Chicken Stock

1 Can of Cannellini Beans (Drained)

1 Package of Sweet Italian Sausage

1 Can of Whole Plum Tomatoes in Sauce

Directions:

– Chop up the shallot and garlic and let brown in a drizzle of olive oil at the bottom of your soup pot.

– When nicely cooked through add in both boxes of chicken stock and red wine, stir to scrape up any bits at the bottom of the pot.

– Put on low heat while you dice up only about 6 of the tomatoes from the can.

*Note: You will not need all of the tomatoes or the sauce. You can reserve for later in the week to make pasta sauce or such.

– Now add in the diced tomatoes to the pot, stir and season liquid with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

– Now take sausage and cut casing and remove the meat from each link.

*Note: Be sure to season the sausage crumbles with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

– Crumble up all your meat into a heated pan with olive oil and brown the sausage.

– Once meat is cooked through add to the liquid in the soup pot.

– After the meat throw in the can of cannellini beans (drained).

– Now higher the heat and bring the soup to a boil and then throw in the pastina to cook.

– Keep stirring so pastina will not stick to the bottom of the pot.

– Once pastina cooked through you can now prepare the escarole.

– Put pot on low heat again.

– Chop the escarole and only use the greenest parts of the leaves.

*Note: I’m not sure about the condition of escarole for others – but every time I buy it they always seem to be very dirty with sand and such. Be sure to clean your chopped leaves very well with cold water till the water run’s clear.

– Once cleaned thoroughly throw the leaves into the soup pot.

– Continue to keep the soup on low and spin periodically for about other 20 or so minutes.

– You can also add seasonings to taste if you feel it needs something more.

Serve & Enjoy!

*I think the most important thing about this soup in particular is the base of chicken stock, the tomatoes, the red wine and seasonings.

*Again as always with soup it’s very versatile so you can incorporate any vegetables you want.

*You can also swap the protein here – try Shrimp even!

*Think different for your starch too – try Arborio rice in soup instead of pasta.

~A.M.A.~

 

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Almost Virgin Vodka Sauce

Let’s be real most recipes for vodka sauce call for such a minimal amount of vodka that the vodka is really not even a necessary ingredient. In fact you could really call vodka sauce a tomato cream sauce because that’s just what it is. The most important base for this recipe is a great tomato sauce with the addition of a buttered heavy cream. Pour this rich and creamy sauce over hot pasta and sprinkle with grated parmesan. It’s simple, minimal in ingredients and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper, Hot Pepper Flakes

2 Tablespoons – Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons – Butter

Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Pint – Heavy Cream

1/2 Cup – Red Wine

3 Fresh Basil Leaves – Chopped

3 Cloves of Garlic – Chopped

(1) Can Crushed Tomatoes

(1) Can Tomato Paste

(1) Box Penne Pasta

Directions for Tomato Sauce:

 -In a sauce pan brown the garlic in the olive oil.

– Now throw the basil into the oil.

– Then add in the can of crushed tomatoes and the red wine.

– Now put in the tomato paste and sprinkle in salt, pepper, garlic power and hot pepper flakes to taste.

– Spin all together and cover to let simmer on low heat while preparing the heavy cream.

*Mix sauce periodically.

Directions for Heavy Cream:

– In a separate sauce pan melt the butter on medium heat.

– Once melted add in the heavy cream.

– Very often you must whisk the heavy cream as it heats up.

– You will notice the heavy cream will start to foam up and you will have to whisk so it does not overflow.

– After this goes on for about a minute or so you can lower the heat and simmer on low for another minute but continue whisking.

– When completed add the heavy cream to the tomato sauce.

Directions – Final Steps:

– Be sure the heavy cream and tomato sauce is melded together.

– Keep simmering on low while you boil the penne off to the side.

– Once pasta is boiled – drain the pasta and then combine with the sauce.

– Sprinkle in a tablespoon of grated parmesan and mix again in the sauce pan.

Plate, Serve & Enjoy!

*Don’t forget to serve this with some Italian bread to sop up that delicious sauce. 

*A traditional addition to Penne Alla Vodka is usually bits of prosciutto. Chop up small bits of prosciutto and cook them up with the garlic in the directions for the tomato sauce.

*Note you can always add in shrimp or slices of grilled chicken to this recipe too.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Parmesan Cutlets with Tomato Mozzarella Basil Salad

Chicken cutlets were a staple growing up in my household. Perfect with a bowl of pasta, a salad or even for sandwiches at school the next day.  The cutlets my dad made were always juicy, flavorful and crispy on the outside. Everyone has their way of doing it – but with this version I throw shredded parmesan into the breadcrumbs, kicking the flavor up a notch and pair the cutlets with a colorful tomato and mozzarella salad using my new obsession Zima sweet tomatoes!

Ingredients:

– Flour, Italian Bread Crumbs, (2) Eggs

*I use Progresso brand breadcrumbs. I’ve used others and feel they have the most flavor.

– Seasonings – Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Olive Oil

– Canola Oil for Frying

– (4) Chicken Cutlets

*I usually take (2) large boneless chicken breasts and filet them to make the four.

– Shredded Parmesan Cheese

– 1 Cup of Mozzarella Balls – Each piece cut in 1/2

– 2 Cups of Small Tomatoes – Each piece cut in 1/2

– (4) Large Basil Leaves – Sliced

* Best way to do this is to roll up the leaves like a cigarette and then take the knife to the leaves so when cut you create strips of basil.

Directions for Tomato Salad:

*Make this first so you can let it sit in the fridge to marinade and get cold. It’s VERY simple!

– Combine the tomatoes, the mozzarella and the basil in a bowl.

– Drizzle (2) tablespoons of olive oil over the mix along with a couple pinches of salt and toss.

– Place in fridge till ready to plate the dish.

Directions for Prepping the Frying Area:

– Have your frying oil heating up in a wide shallow frying pan while you’re prepping the cutlets.

–  Put on medium heat you do not want the oil to splash out on the stove or you when you put the first cutlet in.

* You want the cutlets to fry up not too quickly where the coating is burnt and the inside is not yet cooked –   you want them cooked through and golden brown.

– You can test the heat when ready by throwing a very small bit of bread crumb into the pan, if you see it sizzle up quickly the oil is ready.

– Finally be sure near the pan you have a plate with paper towels to soak up the extra oil when you take the cutlets out of the frying pan.

* Keep the plate with the paper towels at a safe distance from the flame!

Directions for Putting Together the Cutlets:

– First prepare your three main coatings for the cutlets.

– In one bowl place the flour.

– In another bowl place two beaten eggs with salt and pepper.

– In the final dish (use a wide shallow dish) place the Italian bread crumbs but mix in a cup of the parmesan and sprinkle in garlic powder too.

– Make sure the cutlets are seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

– Take one cutlet and cover in flour, shake off excess and move onto the egg bowl.

– Cover the cutlet now in egg and then let excess drip off before placing in bread crumbs.

– When placing the cutlet in bread crumb mix throw mix on top of the exposed side before pressing cutlet down to assure even and full coating.

* You may want to turn cutlet over a couple of times in the mix and press down each time to make sure again that everything is coated.

– Move cutlet to a plate and continue on till all cutlets are breaded.

Directions for Frying the Cutlets:

-Be sure to test the oil as said before above in “Directions for Prepping the Frying Area”.

-Reminder as also said above you want to make sure the cutlets are cooked through and golden brown.

*Hint you shouldnt fry more than two cutlets at a time and keep them moving in the oil. Turn them over periodically too.

– Once cooked through place on plate off to the side to let cool and so oil is soaked up by paper towels.

-To plate when finished frying place cutlet on serving dish and top with the tomato salad mix.

Serve & Enjoy!

*Feel free to swap out the mozzarella balls for other colored tomatoes and instead use balsamic vinegar versus the olive oil.

*You can always make more than four cutlets and top a salad for lunch the next day or as mentioned before chicken cutlets make great sandwich fillers!

*Also another great idea if you check out my past post “Fancy Finger Foods” you can cube up the cutlets and use them in lieu of the salami I had for the mozzarella and roasted pepper skewers.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Italian Wedding Soup

It’s the season for soup – One in particular which I’ve seen a hundred times over but have never tried is Italian Wedding Soup. This particular evening I decided to give it a go. I mean what could there not be to like about moist mini turkey meatballs in chicken broth with hearty vegetables and pasta. Fresh parmesan tops the dish and melts right into your bowl and taste buds. This soup is filling, warming and delicious. So on those cold nights or maybe even when you’re feeling under the weather curl up with a bowl of this soup and let your troubles of the day just melt away.

Ingredients Meatballs:

Cooking Spray, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

1 Egg

½ Pound of Ground Turkey Meat

½ Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs

1 Tablespoon of Milk

1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan

Ingredients Soup:

Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder

(1) Small Shallot Minced

(2) Garlic Cloves Minced

(2) Containers of Low Sodium Chicken Broth

(1) Cup Dry White Wine

(1) Cup Sliced Zucchini

(3) Cups Fresh Spinach Leaves

*Be sure to trim the stems.

(2) Cups Pasta

*Use something small like mini wheel shaped pasta or mini bowties.

 (1) Can Cannellini Beans

Package of Fresh Shredded Parmesan

Directions Meatballs:

*Note: You will start getting the soup together when you get to the step about the meatballs cooking for 30 minutes

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

– In a bowl combine turkey meat, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, grated parmesan and a couple of sprinkles of all seasonings.

– Roll a mini size ball of meat mix in-between your hands and place in a baking dish which has been prepped with cooking spray.

– Drizzle olive oil all over the meatballs and sprinkle with all seasoning one more time.

– You can make about 25 mini meatballs with the ½ pound of meat.

– Bake the meatballs for about 30 minutes or until browned and cooked through.

– When the meatballs are done be sure to mix them up so they pick up all the oils, flavor and juices in the dish.

Directions Soup:

– Heat a tablespoon of olive oil at the bottom of your pot.

– Throw in the minced garlic and shallot to brown.

– Now pour in the wine and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pot.

– Next you can add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.

– Throw in pasta and bring down to a simmer.

– Once pasta is cooked through add in the zucchini and cannellini beans.

– Sprinkle seasonings into the pot and cover.

– Let simmer till zucchini is now cooked through.

– Throw in the meatballs and cook on low heat for about 10 – 15 minutes.

– Take spinach leaves and tear by hand and throw them into the pot.

– Sprinkle seasonings into the pot and spin to make sure all the ingredients are combined.

 – Continue to cook on low heat for another five  minutes.

– Once done – ladle soup into bowls and top with the fresh parmesan.

Enjoy!

*Feel free to swap out any of the veggies I used for other kinds.

*Note you can always add in a can of tomato paste to the broth and give the base a tomato flavor.

*Also you can brown up Italian sausage and throw slices of that into the soup instead of the mini meatballs.

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs

Who doesn’t love meatballs and likewise who doesn’t love cheese? Place pieces of fresh mozzarella inside your meatballs and give your guests a little surprise of cheesy goodness. This meal is perfect for when you have another couple coming over, your parents or even the in-laws. This recipe makes plenty more than for two so if you want cut the recipe in half, savor in leftovers during the week or share with some office friends at lunchtime either option is sure to please!

Chunky Sauce Ingredients: 4 Garlic Cloves Minced, Handful of Chopped Basil, Can Tomato Paste, (2) Can’s Whole Plum Tomatoes in Sauce, 1/2 Cup Red Wine, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper Flakes, Olive Oil

Directions for Chunky Sauce:

– Heat olive oil in pan.

– Sauté garlic & basil till cooked through.

– While the above is sautéing remove the whole tomatoes from the sauce and chop up into chunky pieces.

– Place tomatoes and sauce into the pan.

– Add tomato paste & red wine.

– Let simmer for a minute or so while spinning.

– Then add in a sprinkle of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and pepper flakes.

– Cover pot and place on low heat while you prepare the meatballs.

*You must check the sauce and stir occasionally.

Meatball Ingredients:

Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic Powder,

(15) Small Mozzarella Balls 

(1) Package of Lean Ground Beef

*1 to 1.5 Pounds of Beef makes about 25 or so meatballs.

(2) Eggs

(2) Tablespoons for Italian Bread Crumbs

(4) Tablespoons of Fresh Bread Crumbs

*I used the insides off the end of a day old whole wheat Italian bread loaf.

(3) Tablespoons of Low Fat Milk

Directions for Meatballs

– Cut the mozzarella balls in half as prep before mixing the meat together and put on plate off to the side.

– In a dish by hand pull the insides of the fresh bread out and crumble the bread as shown in the photo.

– You will then need to soften the bread crumbs with the milk.

– Mash the crumbs with the milk till all is melded together.

– Place the meat in the dish and top with a couple of sprinkles of all the seasonings.

– Next crack both eggs up top and throw the bread crumbs in too.

– Mix all together and add in again more sprinkles of the seasonings.

– Once mixed together take a golf ball sized portion and place it in your palm.

– Make a dip in the portion by pressing your fingers into the middle.

– Place a piece of one mozzarella half into the dip and then close up with meat around the mozzarella.

– Gently in circular motions round out the meatball in between your hands.

– The meatballs should be the size of golf balls – place them on a plate as you continue making them.

Directions Cooking the Meatballs: 

*Have your pasta water heating up to a boil before you put meatballs in the sauce.

– Place the meatballs in the sauce as shown.

– Put on medium heat.

– Sprinkle one more dash of seasonings and a splash of olive oil on top of the meatballs in the sauce.

– Then cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

– Bottoms should now be cooked and you should be able to turn the meatballs over in the sauce.

– Again let the meatballs simmer for another 10 minutes and turn.

*Don’t be discouraged if you see the cheese melting out of some of the meatballs.

*Your pasta water should be boiling at this point – Butta La Pasta! (Or throw the pasta!) 

– Keep the meatballs simmering in sauce until pasta is cooked through then turn off the sauce.

Putting the Dish Together: 

– Place some of the meatballs and sauce at the bottom of your serving bowl.

– Drain the pasta and throw into the serving bowl.

– Place the sauce and meatballs over the pasta and toss till everything is coated.

Serve & Enjoy! 

*Note you can always swap out the ground beef for ground turkey and change up the cheese for Parmesan or Asiago.

*If you don’t feel like pasta – throw the meatballs onto some toasted Italian bread for a meatball sub – sprinkle some grated parmesan on top before serving. 

~ A.M.A. ~

© Cookery for Two – 2011 . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cookery for Two with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.